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April 19, 2013: We've scoured the Web to find the best and most compelling animal stories, videos and photos. And it's all right here.
Crews Care for Pets Injured by Blast
Just after the massive explosion at a fertilizer plant that killed at least 35 people on Wednesday night, the Texas A&M Veterinary Emergency Team was called in to care for search and rescue dogs used by first responders as well as animals in the community who were injured or lost. Other groups have sprung up to take in missing pets, provide food and water for them, and try to get them reunited with their owners. More than 3,300 people have liked West, TX Lost & Found Pets Facebook page, where people can post photos and information about animals they’ve found and that have been lost. — Find resources for area pet owners
With the number of sickly sea lions washing up on shore in Southern California more than five times higher this year than in an average year, researchers are trying to determine the cause. Nearly 1,300 sea lions have beached themselves in the region this year. Most of the animals are pups born last summer, who are turning up severely emaciated. Scientists think an unseen oceanic phenomenon may be cutting the starving pups’ food supply in the way that El Niño would. Adult sea lions are more able to adapt in the face of a food shortage. In some encouraging news, there has been a slowdown in the number of pups being admitted to rehab facilities. — Read it at Discovery News
A new study found that when fire ants crossed different surfaces, they would find the route that would minimize their walking time rather than minimize the distance traveled. The behavior provides a window into how social insects organize themselves, researchers said. They found that the ants rely on trails of pheromones to find their way to a destination. The study by researchers at the University of Regensburg, Germany, was published in the journal PLOS ONE. — Read it at Live Science
After a week of bad news like this one, we could use a little pick-me-up. Tessa, the blind dog whose amazing rescue story went viral earlier this month, recently had a “date” with Dancing With the Stars judge Carrie Ann Inaba’s dog. Tessa is blind and was unable to walk until she was saved and rehabilitated by the Bill Foundation in California. She’s made incredible progress but she has special needs, so the group has been making every effort to find her the best possible home. This week, Inaba, an animal activist, was a guest host on Live With Kelly & Michael, where she revealed that she’s looking for a pal for her dog Peanut, and she’s recently spent time with Tessa to see if she’s a good match. Inaba, who’s rescued several animals, said “there’s all these special needs animals” and she’d like to adopt one of them. Our fingers are crossed for Tessa! — Follow the Bill Foundation for the latest
At 2 months old, a pair of Asian small-clawed otters got their first exam at the U.K.’s Chester Zoo, where veterinarians found that one of the pups is a boy and the other a girl. “Both proved to be fairly feisty characters but they are extremely healthy indeed so we are very happy with them,” said veterinarian Steve Unwin. “As they continue to grow and become even more confident, we're looking forward to seeing them take to the water." Wallace, the male, weighed 780 grams, while his sister was a little smaller, at 680 grams.— See photos at Zooborns
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